5 Methods for Measuring Your Nurturing Program
Lead nurturing is extremely valuable. Lead nurturing ensures that long-term leads and qualified prospects are not lost between marketing and sales. Effective measurement of your nurturing program is critical, and knowing when to measure is equally important. Outlined below are five keys to measuring and evaluating your lead nurturing initiative.
Clearly Define the Criteria Required for Leads to be Considered Sales-Ready
This process should be a collaborative effort. Many marketers make the mistake of defining the criteria without consulting the sales department. This is a fatal mistake. Several factors should be considered when determining the criteria. These factors include:
- Length of the sales cycle
- Steps within the sales process
The preceding factors should accurately indicate when a prospect is ready to move from a nurturing representative to a sales executive.
At a bare minimum, the criteria involved in your strategy should include:
- A planned & defined project
- Willingness to consider your solution
Your measurement efforts should include a report on the lead rate for your program. Most companies with complex and lengthy sales cycles should have 10-15% of nurturing conversations result in sales-ready leads.
Measure and Monitor Prospect Movement
The primary goal of any nurturing strategy is to move the majority of prospects from "passive" to "active" and finally to, "sales-ready". A successful campaign will involve at least 20-30% of all prospects having a positive movement rate.
Develop and Apply a Scoring System Assigned to Each Category of Engagement
Every method of engagement is not created equally. A numeric value should be assigned to each method of engagement. (email, mail fulfillment, conversation, strategic voicemail, ect.)
In creating a scoring system, two factors should be considered:
- The expenses involved in the method of engagement. One-on-one conversation is typically the most expensive method of engagement. Consequently, it should receive the highest score. A text email would be a less expensive method of contact, and would receive a much lower score.
- Impact should also be considered. Although one-on-one contact is the most expensive method of engagement, it has the highest rate of return for the level of impact it generates with leads. On the other hand, text emails are rarely read, causing that method of engagement to have less impact than other types of engagement.
By scoring each method of engagement, you can monitor the average score required to nurture a mature lead. It generally takes about 6-9 months to generate an effective scoring system; however, a scoring system allows for marketers to make educated decisions about a consumer engagement strategy.
Determine When a Prospect Reaches a Point of Diminishing Return
Prospects should never remain in the nurturing process indefinitely. A scoring system enables marketers to determine when the point of diminishing returns has arrived for individual prospects. It is vital for marketers to focus on nurturing suitable prospects, in order to maintain a successful program.
Track Leads and Evaluate Sales Feedback
After handing off "sales-ready" leads to the sales team, the time to track those leads through feedback from the sales team has begun. Accurate tracking of leads is highly effective in evaluating stats in a nurturing program.
Measuring efforts should begin the day a lead nurturing program becomes effective. Maintaining accurate numbers is essential for positioning nurturing activities as a profit center.